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Pumpkin Cheesecake

CRUST
1 -1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts -optional
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING
3-8 ounce pkgs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
5 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish:
1/4 cup gingersnap snap cookies, coarsely crushed for larger crumbs than used in crust.

Crust: Lightly butter a 10×2 inch round cake pan. Combine gingersnap crumbs, nut, and butter in a bowl, and mix well. Press mixture firmly into prepared pan, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Filling: In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugars and spices,
beat until light in texture. Add pumpkin puree and mix until just blended.
Stir in eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Stir
in cream. . Pour batter into crust, and put cake pan in a roasting pan. Add
hot water to roasting pan halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake in center of
oven until cheesecake is firm to touch and slightly puffed, about 50
minutes. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When cheesecake is completely chilled,
lower pan into a hotwater bath for 2-3 min. to loosen the crust. Invert a
large, flat plate on top of cheesecake; invert pan, and remove. Put a second
plate on bottom of cheesecake, and turn it right side up.

Caramel Sauce: Put all ingredients except vanilla in small saucepan with
heavy bottom. Bring to boil over medium heat. Boil 4 minutes.Remove from
heat, let cool approximately 5 minutes then stir in vanilla extract. .
Sweetened Whipped Cream: Whip cream an high with an electric mixer. When
cream begins to thicken and form soft peaks add sugar and vanilla. Mix until
cream has firm peaks. Fill decorating bag fitter with #22 star tip with
whipped cream and pipe rosettes onto cheesecake.

Garnish: Pipe sweetened whipped cream on top of cheesecake. Sprinkle top
with reserved crumbs. Drizzle with caramel sauce.

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